Emily: A Case Study in Adolescent Development

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This instance survey inside informations the developmental mileposts of an adolescent miss named Emily. Emily is 12 old ages old and lives with her female parent who is a individual parent. Harmonizing to many theoreticians and researches. because she is being raised by a individual female parent. Emily is an at-risk stripling who may hold problem decently hitting developmental mileposts along with her equals. After detecting Emily in her natural environment. so passing clip interacting with Emily and questioning her female parent Elizabeth. I found that Emily is a typically developing stripling. Emily has developed before or along with her equals physically. cognitively. and psychosocially. Emily appears to be developing a healthy sense of independency and ego construct. Finally. Emily is healthy and appears to be come oning through pubescence at a normal rate.

Emily: A Case Study In Adolescent Development

Emily is a 12-year-old miss. Since birth she has lived with her female parent Elizabeth in a little South Carolina town – population 60. 000. She was an lone kid until three old ages ago when her brother Wade was born. Emily’s female parent Elizabeth is a individual female parent. Emily has ne’er met her ain male parent but had grown near to Wade’s male parent. her measure pa. when he died nine months ago from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Emily’s female parent Harmonizing to Milstead and Perkins ( 2010 ) . a child’s household is cardinal to their successful development. Their research suggests that kids who are raised in non-traditional households are at a disadvantage is all countries of development every bit good as socioeconomically. This instance survey will analyze typical physical. cognitive. and psychosocial milepost of adolescent kids and if 12-year-old Emily has been negatively affected in these countries as a consequence of her life in a individual parent place.


At 12 old ages old Emily is come ining adolescence. It is during adolescence that pubescence Begins. The clip of adolescence is a clip of rapid alterations and physical growing in kids. Rapid growing occurs in the castanetss and musculuss. alterations in organic structure form and size occur. and sexual ripening begins. basically stoping childhood. Get downing with hormonal alterations. including an addition in estrogen and Lipo-Lutin. misss typically begin sing pubescent alterations at the approximative age of eight. Soon after. the womb and vagina Begin to turn larger and misss begin to develop chest buds. Around the age of 11. misss begin to develop pubic hair. Girls can anticipate their weight and tallness to increase during this clip every bit good. As misss a girl’s organic structure begins to fix for menarche. their hips will go wider. The first catamenial period typically occurs around the age of 12 ; nevertheless. this can go on earlier for some misss and much later for others. Puberty continues through the age of 18 as misss chests to the full develop and their first ovulation occurs ( Berger. 2011 ) .

In add-on to sexual development during pubescence. striplings develop physically every bit good. A growing jet occurs during adolescence where about every organic structure portion grows. most notably at different and uneven rates. Harmonizing to Berger ( 2011 ) . the fingers and toes of an stripling grow longer before the custodies and pess. The custodies and pess grow longer before the weaponries and legs. and the weaponries and legs grow longer before the trunk. It is non uncommon for an adolescent’s organic structure to look unsymmetrical. “One pes. one chest. or even one ear may turn later than the other. ” ( Berger. 2011. p. 393 ) .

The endocrines responsible for pubescence and growing jets in adolescent misss are besides responsible for emotional alterations. It is non uncommon for misss sing these endocrine alterations to hold sudden effusions of choler. unhappiness. or even lust. Neurological alterations occur as the “limbic system. responsible for intense fright and exhilaration from the amygdale. matures before the prefrontal cerebral mantle. where be aftering in front. emotional ordinance. and impulse control occur. ” ( Berger. 2011. p 400 ) . These neurological alterations frequently lead striplings to throw cautiousness to the air current. particularly in societal state of affairss. Adolescents are more likely to move impetuously. Their unprompted behaviours coupled with their addition in endocrines and involvement in sexual activities puts striplings at hazard for sexual maltreatment and early gestation ( Berger. 2011 ) .

During adolescence. physical and hormonal alterations aren’t the lone alterations happening. Brain ripening besides occurs and cognitive growing additions. Adolescent kids will see increased independency. a heightened sense of uneasiness. the ability to believe more abstractly. Harmonizing to Swiss developmental psychologist and philosopher. Jean Piaget. striplings develop the ability to utilize abstract logic. in contrast to kids in early and in-between childhood who chiefly merely have the ability to believe in concrete footings ( Goncu. & A ; Abel. 2011 ) . In add-on. during adolescence. individuality battles frequently begin.

Developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst. Erik Erickson. described this phase of development as individuality versus function confusion. Harmonizing to Erickson. an adolescent’s mission during this province is to unearth who they are as persons. apart from their households and as members of society at big. Futile pilotage of this phase. harmonizing to Erickson. consequences in function confusion and turbulence. Adolescents develop a sense of personal individuality through many avenues including faith. political relations. natural abilities. and gender. Unifying childhood events. societal ideals. and their typical aspirations. individuality is developed. However. harmonizing to Erickson. striplings rarely reach individuality and function confusion is more likely ( Boddington. 2009 ) .


Emily is go toing a birthday party for one of her equals at school. The party is being held at a local church. in the church’s societal hall. Harmonizing to Emily’s female parent this is non the first birthday party that Emily had attended where both male childs and misss are present ; nevertheless. it is the first coeducational party that she has attended since she began demoing an involvement in male childs. Most of the misss are have oning frocks and places with modest heels ; their hair absolutely tended to with intimations of rubric on their lips and bloom on their cheeks. Emily wears bluish denims. a blue and white stripped long sleeved shirt and boat places. Her normal blond coils have been flattened with a unbending Fe. harmonizing to her female parent. Emily likes her hair better heterosexual and she hates frocks.

Emily is tall. standing at 5 pess 6 inches tall. She weighs 150 lbs. Her organic structure is good proportioned and she does non look to be overweight. Emily has developed chests and she has the visual aspect of some acne on her mentum and brow.

The overhead fluorescent visible radiations are dimmed in the societal hall but the country is lit good with bluish. ruddy. and green visible radiations which flash in sync with the music playing over a brace of big talkers. A DJ encourages the 28 11 and twelve twelvemonth olds to fall in the lone two male childs on the dance floor. The room is divided. Girls stand near a row of metal turn uping chairs run alonging a wall. The male childs gather near a phase on the far terminal of the room.

Emily’s female parent Elizabeth is besides go toing the party as a chaperone. Elizabeth gestures for Emily to come to her three times during a 30 minute period in an attempt to promote Emily to fall in the others on the dance floor. Each clip Emily ignores her mother’s encouragements. The 3rd clip Emily’s eyes turn broad and from across the room she mouths the word “stop” to Elizabeth.

About an hr into the party. the misss shriek with delectation when a popular vocal Begins to play and several haste to the dance floor. Emily rushes to the dance floor with a figure of other misss and they begin to dance to the music. Song after vocal. Emily and her group of friends stay on the dance floor. They stop on occasion to chew the fat with one another but ne’er leave the dance floor. Emily dances and laughs with her female friends for about an hr before the group is called to hold birthday bar and ticker as the birthday miss opens nowadayss. While the kids are eating Emily socializes with both her female and male friends. She is peculiarly friendly with a male named Dawson.

The two stand beside one another and speak while their friend opens her birthday nowadayss. She playfully hits him on the arm six times during their exchange. She blushes as he playfully hit her back. Soon the group of striplings is back on the dance floor for another half hr of dancing before the party is over. This clip both the male childs and misss are on the dance floor together. Emily dances alongside both her female and male friends for the balance of the party. As the party comes to shut. Emily hugs each one of her female friends’ adieu as they leave. When Elizabeth biddings Emily to go forth the party. Emily shouts out to Dawson. stating him adieu.

On Sunday afternoon. Elizabeth welcomes me to pass clip with Emily in the family’s place. Emily’s household lives in a modest three sleeping room. two bath house in a popular vicinity on the North side of town. Their big fenced in back pace is filled with bright colored. fictile play-things belonging to Emily’s younger brother Wade. Emily’s violet Next bike leans against a wall in the home’s garage. The bike is much excessively little for her growing stature and Emily readily admits that she hasn’t sit the motorcycle in at least a twelvemonth. Nothing else in the pace or garage suggests that a immature miss live at that place but inside the place tells a different narrative. On the kitchen counter lays a knotted green thread with long blonde hairs tangled within the knot. Emily explains that she wore the thread on St. Patrick’s Day this twelvemonth because she had no other viridity in her closet. Liing on the household sofa is a blue and violet fleece cover and a fuzzed cordate fuchsia pillow wearing the words “Drama Queen. ”

It’s Emily’s favorite pillow. The floor in the life country is scattered with green plaything tractors and an uncomplete train set. Leaving the life country and come ining the long narrow hallway. Emily’s sleeping room is the first room on the left. Her room access stands unfastened but a handmade froth door hanger bents from the door boss reading “Do Not Enter. ” Emily’s room is pink and while with speech patterns of black and Grey. Her hot pink sheets peek out from under the wrinkly black and white polka point sympathizer on her bed. Her sleeping room walls are adorned with images of her favourite vocalists. Cody Simpson and Selena Gomez. A big bean bag chair takes up much of the floor infinite in her sleeping room. A big bookcase runs about the length of one wall while a keyboard and mike stand sit against the opposite wall. Emily loves to sing and frequently spends a great trade of her clip singing along with her favourite instrumentalists on her karaoke machine. A framed piece of child-drawn art bents to the right of her bed. Emily says she completed the work in 3rd class. It depicts a male child who is apparently stuck inside of a glass underside room.

Emily explains the technique she used is called prefiguration. When asked if it has an implicit in tilts. Emily whips her hair and coolly replies that it does non. Emily is welcoming and excited to demo off her infinite and her things. including her three dance trophies and her 2nd topographic point young person picture taking thread she won at last year’s South Carolina Festival of Flowers. Emily is originative and has an artistic side through her love of music. picture taking. drawing and picture. and dance. I inquire more about Emily’s art work and she pulls from her cupboard several pieces of art work sandwiched between two pieces of composition board. She carefully pulls out several pieces of art and Tells me how old she was when she completed it. Before we can complete. Emily’s phone alerts her that she has a text message.

For the following 15 proceedingss Emily sends and receives text messages from her cell phone. She tells me that she is discoursing an approaching school trip to Philadelphia with her friend Jenny. They are discoursing room agreements. After texting with Jenny. Emily shows me information she has printed from the cyberspace pertaining to her trip to Philadelphia. Emily says she is excited about the trip as she has ne’er been off from place for more than two or three yearss at a clip. She will be in Philadelphia for six yearss. Emily says she can non wait to travel and excitedly explains how she will be remaining in a hotel room with three of her female friends. without an grownup. Emily explains that the misss will remain on the 3rd floor of the hotel while the male childs will remain on the 2nd floor. Emily receives another text message merely as I am go forthing. She says adieu without looking up from her cell phone.


Elizabeth is a 32 twelvemonth old female parent of two. She gave birth to Emily at the age of 19. Emily was born December 10. 1999 by cesarian subdivision after a full term gestation. Emily’s female parent Elizabeth reports no antenatal jobs and no complications during labour. At birth Emily weighed seven lbs and 11 ounces. She was twenty one inches long. Harmonizing to the Centers for Disease Control ( 2000 ) Emily’s weight put her in the 30 6th percentile for neonates and her tallness put her in the 90 3rd percentile for neonates. As an baby. Emily was breast Federal for seven months. harmonizing to Elizabeth. Elizabeth explains that as an baby. a yearling. and a immature kid. Emily hit all of her developmental mileposts early. including pubescence which began for Emily around age nine.

Emily’s male parent is non active in Elizabeth and Emily’s lives. Emily has ne’er met her male parent. Elizabeth explains that Emily’s father attended college with her. They were casually dating when Elizabeth became pregnant. Emily’s father did non desire anything to make with Elizabeth after she told him she was pregnant. After happening out that she was pregnant. Elizabeth quit school until she gave birth to Emily so rapidly returned to complete her grade. Elizabeth obtained a four twelvemonth grade in selling from a local college when Emily was three. She now works for a major hotel concatenation as their manager of communications. Elizabeth earns $ 43. 000 yearly. She has no other income. Elizabeth grew up in the Catholic Church but left the church as a adolescent. Today she is a member of a local Presbyterian church.

Elizabeth considers herself an important parent. She says that while she has great trade of outlooks for her kids. she besides has a stopping point and warm relationship with each of them. She says her relationship with Emily has become closer since Emily has begun in-between school. Elizabeth believes that it is most of import that her kids trust her. She explains that she wants her kids to experience as if they can speak to her about anything. Elizabeth expects Emily to execute good in school and says Emily has non of all time been in problem at school because Elizabeth does non digest noncompliance. particularly in school.

Elizabeth believes she holds the three traits that she says do a great parent: she commands regard ; she works invariably to guarantee good communicating with her kids so that they trust her. and she has clear outlooks of her kids. Elizabeth says that if she were to give new parents three pieces of advice she would affect upon them how rapidly clip base on ballss. “Enjoy every minute. and don’t take one second for granted. ” she says. Elizabeth says she would besides state new parents to do certain they make clip for themselves. Finally. Elizabeth says she would state them to be honest with their kids. “Share your life experiences with them. State them the things you did right and the things you did wrong. State them about the lessons you’ve learned. Children learn to esteem you and swear you in that sense. ”


Emily is nine months shy of her 13th birthday. Emily is five pess. six inches tall. She weighs one 100 and 50 lbs. Harmonizing to the Centers for Disease Control ( 2000 ) . Emily’s tallness is greater than the 90 7th percentile for tallness. Emily is at the 90 7th percentile for weight. Although Emily is taller and heavier than more than 90 five per centum of her equals. harmonizing to her female parent. Emily has hit developmental mileposts earlier than her equals since she was an baby. Furthermore. Emily is presently sing pubescence. an expected happening at her age. She has developed chests and she has had her first catamenial period. Emily is non sexually active. harmonizing to her female parent and therefore she is presently non at hazard for early gestation.

Cognitively. Emily is come oning as a typical 12 twelvemonth old miss. She displays avidity to set up a sense of independency from her female parent with her approaching school trip to Philadelphia. She looks frontward to being off from her female parent. and turn outing to both her female parent and herself that she is maturating in the ability to do her ain picks. Emily’s cognitive development is besides evident in the picks she made when dressing and titling her hair for the birthday party she attended. Emily’s female parent explained that Emily used a unbending Fe on her hair because she was non fond of her of course curly hair. This demonstrates that Emily has developed a sense of uneasiness.

Last. Emily’s psychosocial development is evident in that Emily is working to develop her ain individuality. Although Emily’s friends wore frocks to the birthday party. Emily opted for bluish denims and boat places. Emily chose to have on what she was comfy have oning alternatively of what societal norms would hold her wear. In add-on. Emily knows what she loves. She immerses herself in her art. her music. and her picture taking. While her friends are take parting in athleticss and seeking out for cheerleading. Emily is comfy in her ain career and does non look eager to alter.


Emily is a typically developing 12 twelvemonth old miss. It does non look that her physical. cognitive. and psychosocial development has been negatively affected by her turning up in a individual parent place. While Emily’s development is far from over. for now she appears to be come oning good. and developing into a healthy. secure and socially responsible immature adult female.


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Boddington. E. N. ( 2009 ) . _Cognitive Procedure of Development in Children_ . Online Submission.

Goncu. A. . & A ; Abel. B. ( 2011 ) . The child’s construct of the universe: A 20th-century classic of

kid psychological science. Second Edition. Edited by Jean Piaget. Forward by Jacques Voneche. Rowman & A ; Littlefield Publishers. Inc. Lanham. MD. 2007. pp. 432. Monetary value: ?19. 99. ˆ31. 48… Infant & A ; Child Development. 20 ( 2 ) . 246-248. doi:10. 1002/icd. 719

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Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. gov/growthcharts/data/set1clinical/cj41c022. pdf.

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